No doubt: Marching 100 won their season opener

Photo courtesy:

This new season has not only brought the fire back to the football rivalries, but it has also sparked an old flame with the band rivalries as well. In the HBCU community, the bands are the show, and with so much pride and passion going into the performances, there is no choice but to have a bit of competition during halftime.

Sunday’s Orange Blossom Classic, the first game of this season, was also sophomore Jashawn Coleman’s first taste of real on-field experience with the Marching 100.

He said his first performance was exciting, but it wasn’t nerve-wrecking due to band director  Shelby Chipman keeping the band prepared.

“[Dr. Chipman] prepared us by just having us execute. This is all about, as he likes to say, ‘The shoulders of giants that we stand on,’ and we ran the show so many times and worked on it so much to the point where it’s just about getting out there and doing it,” Coleman said. “I don’t think there was much of a feeling of being too anxious.”

The return of the band also made alumni of the band proud to bleed orange and green, and they will have high expectations moving forward.

“I was very proud of the band,” said James Seda, FAMU alumnus and former member of the Marching 100. “Both bands did a really good job, of course The 100 did a wonderful job considering all of the hurdles they had to jump with COVID and all of the protocols they had to follow, and all of the performances they had to do when they got to Miami, on top of it all being for a big game where the anticipation was high.”

Even with the Rattlers losing the first football game, the Marching 100 started off the season with a win against Jackson State’s marching band at halftime.

According to a poll recorded by HBCU Sports, the Marching 100 won by a landslide in the first battle of the bands of the season with about 70% of the votes going FAMU’s way.

This first SWAC victory is a sweet one for The 100, but there is still more work to be done.

“There’s always another level that can be reached so it’s just about not getting complacent, and continuing to push ourselves as an organization and also as individuals,” Coleman said.

Nothing less than constant improvement is expected from the current members of the Marching 100.

“Moving forward in the SWAC, with all the anticipation with the band joining the SWAC and all of their bands, FAMU is going to continue to do what they’ve always done — have great music quality, be creative with their performance, and from week to week I think the band will improve in creativity, execution, and musicianship,” Seda said.

The Marching 100 will be in action at Bragg Stadium on Saturday against Fort Valley State.